REFEREE Chris Foy will become a new senior coach of Select Group officials at Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) from the 2015-16 season.
The Premier League whistler will take charge of his final game on the last day of the campaign on May 24 at the Etihad Stadium when Manchester City take on Southampton before his retirement from active refereeing duties.
In his new role, he will work alongside PGMOL performance director Howard Webb, who also retired last year and now appoints the 17 Select Group officials to top-flight games.
It brings an end to Foy’s 14-year career in the Premier League during which he has overseen 259 games and over 650 professional matches in total.
“It’s been an absolute privilege to referee in the Premier League over the last 14 years,” Foy said in a statement on the Premier League’s website.
“There’s still one final job to do, and those 90 minutes are important to the players involved, so that will get all our concentration before the next challenge.
“We have a fantastic and very motivated group of officials. Refereeing has changed a huge amount since I started in terms of its professionalism and the standards we maintain.
“Expanding the coaching network for the Select Group is a very positive move and I can’t wait to start my work supporting them.”
The 52-year-old – from St Helens in Merseyside – refereed his first Premier League match in December 2001 in a goalless draw between Bolton and Charlton.
He officiated the 2009 League Cup Final as Manchester United beat Tottenham on penalties, the 2009 FA Community Shield when Chelsea beat United on penalties and the 2010 FA Cup Final in which he awarded Portsmouth a penalty which was missed as Chelsea ran out 1-0 winners.
Foy also handled the 2007 FA Trophy Final between Stevenage and Kidderminster and was the fourth official for the 2008 FA Cup Final as Portsmouth edged past Cardiff at Wembley.
Overall, he has been refereeing for 21 years and was promoted to the Football League list of assistant referees in 1994 before promotion to a Premier League linesman a year later.
Foy – reportedly an Everton FC supporter – became a National Group referee in 1996 and spent five seasons in the middle in the Football League before making the step up to the top-flight.
He also served on the Fifa list for four years before retiring at the mandatory age of 45 in 2007.
Mike Riley, General Manager of PGMOL added: “Chris has been a fantastic servant of both grassroots and professional refereeing.
“He’s had a wonderfully distinguished career having done all the major games and finals and we are really pleased to have retained that knowledge for the next generation of Select Group referees.”
Lancashire’s Mark Halsey also bowed out as a Premier League referee at the Etihad Stadium at the end of the 2012-13 season and received a rapturous applause from both sets of supporters after Norwich’s 3-2 win over Manchester City.
Sunday’s game will be only be the 10th which Foy has handled since the start of 2015 and his 16th in the Premier League throughout the entire campaign.
Overall, he will have officiated 24 matches in all competitions in his final season – brandishing 85 yellow cards, sending off eight players and awarding three penalties so far.
Foy has suffered from a series of injuries which have disrupted his progress in the past 12 months and he has been replaced four times when receiving appointments this term.
In mid-March, he had to withdraw himself during the second half of Arsenal’s 3-0 win over West Ham at the Emirates with fourth official Anthony Taylor taking his place.
Foy then missed the entire month of April before making a comeback on the final day of the League Two campaign when refereeing Accrington against Mansfield.
He came under heavy criticism during the month of December – firstly for sending off Swansea keeper Lukasz Fabianski in their 3-1 defeat at West Ham in December when it appeared Hammers striker Diafra Sakho had handled the ball in the build-up.
It led to accusations from Swansea full-back Angel Rangel that he is “card-happy” and seeking “attention”.
Then a week later, Hull manager Steve Bruce also felt Foy “did not do his job properly” during their 2-0 defeat to champions Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
Foy booked Chelsea’s Willian and Diego Costa for simulation but should have sent off Gary Cahill for a reckless challenge on Sone Aluko which only saw yellow and then for the defender’s apparent dive in the box later in the game.
Hull midfielder Tom Huddlestone also received his marching orders – given a straight red card for lunging in on Chelsea’s Filipe Luis.
In January, Foy was also dropped to Championship duties after he and linesman Adam Nunn ruled that Spurs defender Jan Vertonghen was offside despite the defender being inside his own half against Sunderland before he went on to score.